Substrat Preference?

Sambro

Arachnopeon
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Shoutout to all keepers!!

Being new to keeping, I've just been using Jungle mix and coco fibre currently for my T's.
I've noticed that dry coco fibre isn't the best for making burrows as it doesn't hold its form that well, compared to compact moist coco fibre.


My question!

I wonder what is your preference of substrate depending on the location of its natural habitat?
I know people use a mixture, what are you guys using depending on the specices?

Many thanks in advance. :happy:

 

l4nsky

Aspiring Mad Genius
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On the Topic of Substrate

The standard substrate mixture I use is the following mix by volume:

  • 2 parts Zoo Med Reptisoil
  • 2 parts dry, loose Zoo Med Eco Earth
  • 1 part dry sphagnum moss
  • 1 part vermiculite
I have found this mixture to retain moisture extremely well as well as being able to compact tightly and support extensive burrowing with no risk of collapse when compact. I use this substrate almost exclusively and I’ll mix up large amounts of this to store in plastic storage totes.
https://arachnoboards.com/threads/l4nskys-methodology.343787/

I don't keep desert adapted species at the moment, but I would probably substitute the vermiculite and sphagnum moss for excavator clay if I did.
 

LucN

Arachnoknight
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All of my Ts are Arid species that have yet to show a tendency to burrow, so plain coco fibre works for me.
 

CommanderBacon

Arachnobaron
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I do a base of 50/50 cocofiber and reptisoil and then add another 5th of whatever will work for the T environmentally. For my arid species, that means excavator clay, sand, and charcoal, or chopped sphagnum, charcoal, sand, and jungle mix for my moisture dependent species, etc. I eyeball it, mostly.
 

vicareux

Arachnoknight
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I use 60-70%peat moss and 40-30% coco fibre
However i like to filter out big chunks through a mosquito net mesh so i have a fine filtered substrate that can be packed down really well.
 

Sambro

Arachnopeon
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https://arachnoboards.com/threads/l4nskys-methodology.343787/

I don't keep desert adapted species at the moment, but I would probably substitute the vermiculite and sphagnum moss for excavator clay if I did.
@l4nsky, thanks very much for your input and I read through the Methodology, very helpful and informative! I love it when everyone chips in and give their 2 cents!

All of my Ts are Arid species that have yet to show a tendency to burrow, so plain coco fibre works for me.
My G.Pulcha is a pure bulldozer haha

I have quite a lot of slings mainly at the moment and quite a few love to burrow. My Thailand Black has done the coolest Web Burrows!

I guess it all comes down to trial and error, but that why I wanted to make a post and get some feedback on what works well for other keepers.

Thank you to all that's taken the time to reply. Its really helpful :happy:
 

Liquifin

Arachnoprince
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If you have terrestrial T.'s then I just stick with the coco-fiber. I find that coco-fiber is a very great substrate for obligate burrowers as well. If compacted and pressed down well, then the burrows will hold-up just fine. But to be fair, substrate is just preference and everyone has there own mix or preferred substrate for their tarantulas. As long as the substrate is not something uncomfortable or deadly to T.'s then it should be fine. So to each their own.
 

KaroKoenig

Arachnobaron
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Forest topsoil, self-collected. The stuff that's under last year's fallen leaves.
 

RezonantVoid

Hollow Knight
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Currently peat moss and sand, but I'm switching to a natural loam based mix for my T's in the next week or so
 

Matts inverts

Arachnodemon
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I keep all mine on pure coco peat, pure peat, or reptisoil. My latest rehouse is on 50/50 peat and coco choir but it doesn’t burrow much. And I put a small amount of sphagnum moss mixed in.
 

ccTroi

Arachnobaron
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Mar 27, 2017
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80/20 top soil and coco coir. I add sphagnum moss in the mixture towards the bottom of enclosures for species that tolerate higher humidity
 

Stormsinger

Arachnopeon
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I recently started using topsoil and aside from how heavy it makes the enclosure, I really like it so far.
 

KaroKoenig

Arachnobaron
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Now the big question...
Do you sterilize it? :smirk:
No. It's the bad stuff that usually survives any attempts at sterilizing much better than the good stuff. So why bake away that balance?

All I do is pick out any larger pebbles (if there are any) and larger roots and sticks. Apart from that, it goes right into the enclosure, leaves in various stages of decomposition, pillbugs and earthworms included.

ooooh, fancy type dirt! you lucky dog.....That stuff is too good for me.:/
I have 4 tarantulas and a bunch of Psytalla horrida. I have all the time in the world to go fancy. Obviously, it is not a practicable option for someone with a collection of 100 tarantulas.
The environmental aspect must not be forgotten either. Digging up half a truckload of soil from under a beech tree in a protected area would be quite a problem. You need to use a light touch when collecting from the wild. And you have to know your woods.
To me, it's a vital part of the fun. And I get some fresh air. But yeah, it only really works with small collections. Still, for all the keepers with low spinnerette counts - Highly recommended.

It looks really good as well, my A. geniculata blends right in:

20210528_121639.jpg

Also really easy to keep moist if needed. You can basically just tip a half pint glass into it and the water vanishes like you poured it down a 4-inch drain pipe. I once shot a video of this, because I was amazed, compared to mixes of coco, or more clayey stuff I had experience with before. Got to find that video. It's unreal.
 
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